My earliest childhood memory on Bernardo Street is standing in the baby bed in the back bedroom, holding on to the slats on the side, looking at Uncle Porter with his broad animated face as he booms wordsounds at me while handing me a red Prince Albert can he is squeezing and producing tinny popping noises. Still in the baby bed, eighteen months old or thereabouts.
But I've lost touch with everydayness back when. I am those patterns. It's easy to recall the time in the second grade when a borrowed pencil is licked on the point to make a darker mark on the paper and then the lender-kid across the aisle says he dipped it in poison. It is important that I believe him?--or that I put my head down on the desk and cry because I will never see my mother again? Or the morning I go to the grocery for my father and get short-changed and get a beating for it. Or my father making a big show of trying to save my cat who has gotten trapped under a pipe and choked to death, giving him artificial respiration as ants march in and out of my cat's nose. Can rehashing all this put me in touch with all those other days when there are no clashes? All those ordinary days that seem not so special at the time.